Sports injuries can sideline even the most dedicated athletes, but advancements in medical science have delivered a way to expedite recovery and get you back in the game.
Regenerative medicine is an emerging field revolutionizing how we treat sports injuries. One of the most popular breakthrough treatments is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. This innovative therapy has been making headlines for its potential to treat a wide array of sports injuries, and elite athletes like Tiger Woods and Steph Curry have made PRP a household term.
PRP is one of our specialties at the Regency Pain & Therapy Institute in Mansfield, Texas. Athletes come to us for expert diagnostics and the fastest track to recovery. Here’s how it works.
The science behind PRP therapy
PRP therapy isn’t a drug or a surgical procedure — it uses your body’s healing mechanisms to accelerate recovery.
We start by extracting a small amount of your blood and spin it in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma. The plasma is the liquid component of your blood; the platelets are abundant in growth factors and proteins that promote healing.
We then inject the PRP into your injured area, where it stimulates tissue regeneration and repair. PRP simply accelerates what your body naturally does to heal itself.
Common sports injuries we treat with PRP
PRP therapy shows promise in treating various sports injuries, including tendinous, ligamentous, cartilaginous, and muscular injuries.
Whether you have tennis or golf elbow, an ACL tear, a torn rotator cuff, or a hamstring strain, PRP therapy could potentially provide a viable treatment option.
PRP is also ideal for neck and back pain and osteoarthritis.
Advantages of PRP therapy
There’s really no downside to getting PRP therapy. It causes no side effects and uses components of your own blood. While you may feel temporary soreness at the injection site, it subsides quickly and leaves you with multiple advantages, including the following.
PRP accelerates healing
A quicker return to activity is the best thing about PRP — it fast-forwards your healing time. By delivering a concentrated dose of growth factors directly into your injury, PRP therapy accelerates your healing response.
PRP regenerates tissue
The growth factors in PRP increase cellular communication and stimulate tissue regeneration. They attract repair cells, including critical stem cells, to enhance healing.
PRP reduces inflammation and pain
PRP therapy has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The growth factors in PRP reduce inflammation, so your stiffness subsides and function returns. Less pain also means you can participate in physical therapy more comfortably and reach your post-injury goals sooner.
PRP is minimally invasive
Although surgery is sometimes the best thing for a severe sports injury, you want to avoid it if possible.
PRP therapy is a minimally invasive treatment option that involves only a simple blood draw and injection. With PRP, you avoid the tissue damage and other risks inherent in surgical interventions.
PRP complements other treatments
We can use PRP therapy in conjunction with other treatments, like physical therapy and injections, to optimize recovery. It’s a versatile addition to a comprehensive treatment plan.
PRP therapy works
Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of PRP therapy in sports medicine. For example, a study published in 2022 found that young athletes with sports injuries benefitted from PRP therapy and showed improved healing. Another study concluded that PRP injections aid early recovery and return to sports. These are just a couple of many.
While PRP therapy isn’t a magic bullet, it’s an exciting advancement in managing sports injuries. If you have a sports injury and are eager to get back in the game faster, call the Regency Pain & Therapy Institute and find out if PRP can fast-forward your recovery.